Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

We Are Either Doing THIS or THAT All the Time

 

Maya Angelou said: “They will never remember what you told them or what you did. But they will always remember how you made them feel.”

Every moment, we have a chance to have encounters with our clients, with our co-workers, with their children in a way that makes them feel better about themselves.

How we feel about ourselves impacts how we make others feel about themselves.

How we bring joy into the room matters because we’re either breathing life into life or sucking it out. We are never a neutral event.

We have a choice. We can make sure other people feel better because we choose to bring joy to the conversation, talking about possibilities as opposed to what’s wrong, moving things through quickly, and celebrating the successes along the way.

Listen, it’s easy to find things that are wrong. I’m very capable of doing it.

I am not talking from the mountain here as someone who is capable of always being in this place, but I do know that my life goes better and that I make other people’s lives better when I sincerely make an attempt to breathe life into life, to bring joy in my heart, and to make sure that I’m thinking about bringing joy into their heart at the same time.

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Excuses Disguised as Explanations…

 

Explanations come across as excuses.

So when something falls apart and doesn’t work out the way that you had hoped, or you miss a deadline,  or some outcome doesn’t happen, telling them the sad story about why it is that way only serves to put you in the place of victimhood.

Everybody sees it… And it’s not attractive as adults.

Next time you blow it—and you will because you’re breathing—instead of giving a sad story and explaining to everybody why it’s such a relevant reason why you didn’t get things done, offer up an apology that is sincere along with a: “Listen, guys, This shouldn’t have happened. It won’t happen again. This is what I’m doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

That is authentic.

I have a friend who wrote a book on trust, and he had someone from another country say to him: “You Americans, you are just serial liars. You keep saying that you’re sorry, but you keep doing the same thing over and over again.”

Saying the words “I’m sorry” is not the same as saying: “I blew it. It’ll never happen again. And I’m putting systems in place so that it won’t happen again.”

We don’t want to be apologetic liars. We want to be truth-tellers that are authentic when we blow it. Leave the excuses at home.

Just say: “I blew it. Here’s my massive corrective action plan. This shouldn’t have happened. I let you down. It won’t happen again.”

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The #1 Way to Show You Care…

 

The great philosopher Homer Simpson says: “Just because I don’t care, doesn’t mean I’m not listening.”

Okay, there you have it. You can always quote some good stuff from Homer.  He’s pretty brilliant.

But are you showing that you’re listening to show that you care?

Look, listening is a hard thing to do.

Most of us are waiting our turn to talk instead of actually listening to hear what is being said.

Listening is not just with our ears, but with our hearts because we need to understand why are they saying that? What are their motivations? Gosh, it seems like this person is hurting. What is the concern here? How do we move through this particular piece?

As we’re thinking about listening, think about how you’re being a listener in your life.

How are you listening to your supervisor? Your spouse? Your children? Your colleagues? Your clientele? How are you hearing what’s really underneath the words?

Listening is hard. And listen, nobody’s perfect. I’m sure not. It is something that when we choose to get better at it, we do get better at it.

So don’t take advice from Homer Simpson. Instead, decide to make sure that you are listening and that you care.

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The Key to Conflict Re-SOLUTION…

 

Anyone who thinks there aren’t two sides to a conflict probably isn’t in one. Can you relate?

The time that something is going wrong is also about the time that most people dig those heels right in to make the case that they aren’t wrong.

What is it with whoever said there was something wrong with being wrong? We’re wrong all the time.

Being wrong is what we do. We’re humans. We can’t possibly be right all the time.

Instead, why don’t we just say, “Oh, that’s interesting. Tell me more about that. I want to understand. How can we work this out together? Sounds like we disagree on this? I wonder what the common ground is? Tell me what do you think we could do to find a common ground to move ahead on this?”

The fine art of the dialogue to work through a complex situation is a skill that we need to figure out as we put our big boy and big girl pants on in life.

We learned our conflict resolution skills, sadly, in about the fourth grade… and most of us have really never gotten more development since that time.

It’s not our fault. But, now it’s time to figure this out. Because we live in a conflict-ridden world.

Work is filled with conflict. Life is filled with conflict.

Learning the skills of conflict, of staying calm, of asking questions.

Don’t assume that you’re right. Be curious about the other side. And bring your best, most respectful self forth.

That takes you through the complexity of conflict so that you always understand the relationship is always more important than being right.

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When to Be More Like Your Cat than Your Dog…

 

Can’t seem to operate under the principle that there’s no problem asking a question, huh?

Diane Sawyer says, “a criticism is just a really bad way of making a request, so why not just make the request.” 

It’s so easy to go into a victim mentality and build a case against something when instead you could be asking for someone to do something about it.

We all tend to go into victimhood occasionally because we get something from it.

Whenever we’re a victim and don’t get what we want, we get to blame somebody. Then, everybody feels sorry for us, and they say “Oh, you poor thing!” and quite frankly, if we’re really truthful, there’s a need inside of us that is met by that. But it isn’t our healthiest self.

We’re far better off making a request for what we want.

Let’s face it, the world goes a lot faster when people just say “can you give that to me, we need to move over here right now, I need you to change this report.”

Simply make the request as opposed to saying “I don’t like the report and he never moves over where he needs to be.”

You can see the negative energy that comes along with a negative request as Diane Sawyer calls it. So, why not be more like your cat rather than your dog and assume that you can ask for things that you might get?

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